Plan number two was therefore afoot without me even knowing. Of course, agley it ganged.
Siggy, knowing we had less than a half hour to drive to the hotel, was more amenable to helping out his last appointment of the day - which started at 6.30pm so he was much later than he expected to be coming home. I was left to endure over an hour of Witter Mobile® (it's not nearly as entertaining or as mobile as Twitter, although it follows you round everywhere in the house, it has no off switch or volume control and it's My Mum-shaped) whilst he sorted out the best price to charge for syringing someones ears in a nursing home. I know where I'd rather have been, to be honest. Anyway, that was the calm, relaxed start to the evening up the spout and I moaned and moaned all the way to the cut of where Siggy had to take a different route.
Then believe it or not, I IMPRESSED HIM with MY SENSE OF DIRECTION! We were only a couple of hundred yards of the M80 when I noticed we had turned off and the road and I said so. I have to be honest and say I was a little unsure about the idea of not going away up north, but I soon warmed up to the idea when I saw the hotel. Then I cooled down again, the room was bloody freezing. Undeterred, we went for our meal, which really was lovely, and settled down for a drink after the meal.
Now I know what you're thinking - where did that plan gang agley? Well, it did and all I'm saying is that Siggy couldn't get home quickly enough the next morning. He claims it was because he had to get home to get on with work, but I know it was because the phone call he got from one of the four boys just put him off all night. in fairness, it put me off too, but hey, what's the point in having teenagers if they can't be teenagers?
And so we bumbled on into the worst - and best - weekend of rugby all year. It's the final weekend for the minis and always means a double-header of tournaments at Strathaven and Helensburgh. The boys played poorly on Saturday, but Siggy felt they had been put in too difficult a pool and, in any case, he came revitalised in his refereeing skills, which was nice to see as he'd been a bit put off since the last game which featured an all-out brawl on the park and accusations that the try he gave in the last minute, which put his team through, wasn't a try at all. To be fair, he is adamant that it was but the all-out brawl did take a bit of sorting out.
That's why Sunday was a bit surprising. As usual, I had to run around beforehand, dropping Gordon at his work and collecting him again before I headed down to Helensburgh to meet Scott, Peter and Siggy at the tournament. When I picked up Peter, he was really poorly, so I took him home then set off - just me and Dappy the mad cocker spaniel - in my shorts, but well prepared with the Hunters and matching poncho in the boot. When i say "well-prepared", I kind of mean "totally and utterly unprepared". I had sat nav, but no postcode and a "broad" understanding of where Helensburgh was. Of course, this was another plan about to gang up it's own backside, but I was getting used to that.
I found my way by getting Peter to text me the postcode and was going along nicely with only the gathering rainclouds to worry me - even though I had the wellies and poncho, I was wearing shorts and irritated that I might get wet at the rugby. Oh, the other worry was Dappy deciding that my gearstick was a really comfortable chinrest, but she does that a lot and usually stays over her own side of the car.
Amazingly, the way my week had been going, she did stay on her own side and I happily turned off onto the Erskine Bridge.
"Toll Bridge" the huge Orange signs declared.
No anything to pay with and I was halfway across the bridge.
At this point, could I just ask everyone to remember that I am a good, law-abiding citizen and thus in no way would I have risked using my mobile phone whilst driving. Equally, I am so law-abiding and not in any way daft enough to stop my car in the middle of a huge, busy suspension bridge. I will therefore leave you to make up your own mind about how the next twist in my week unfolded. Equally, I will let you make up your own mind about the vocabulary and phrasing which follows. I may not have recalled it perfectly as I was under a little stress. I rang Siggy:
"Oh my goodness," I said calmly to Siggy after he hadn't answered his phone and I had to call Peter instead (I can't remember exactly the briefly conversation with Peter but I think it went along the lines of "Hello dear son of mine, please pass the phone to your father if you don't mind"). Sorry, getting off track.
"Oh my goodness," I briefly, succinctly and very calmly began, "It appears that I have left my handbag and purse at home"
"You called me to tell me that?You do that everytime we're going anywhere. I'm watching this game and the refs a total and complete tosser. See you when you get here and I'll get you a coffee." He went to hang up.
"Darling, there is a slight problem," I gently said just before he hung up.
"What is it?" he said really brusquely and, I think, a bit too angrily for someone who was only being asked a simple question.
"I would seem to be on the lane for the tool bridge and don't have any money with me" I very coolly said to him in a matter-of-fact way.
"Where the heel are are you going?" he yelled, half-laughing down the phone. "The Severn Bridge is a bit out of the way"
"Severn Bridge?" I said calmly, "I'm on the Erskine Bridge"
"You a**e," he said, "there hasn't been a toll on there for at least five years" and hung up, which I thought was a bit snippy.
In the end, I got off the bridge ok but when I arrived at the tournament Siggy, the guy who was so pleased with how well he had reffed the games the day before was standing at the side of the pitch absolutely losing the plot with the ref for their games. Losing to such an extent that opposing supporters actually came around to his side to point out that the ref was doing his best. Big mistake, but for once he was right. the ref was a complete idiot and even I could see the errors he was making - "offside" is clearly not a concept he understands and as for his knowledge of quick free kicks and the fact that you cannot take two in a row, don't even start me. The ref, though, seemed to think that Siggy reminding his team of that was some sort of implied criticism of him and so he did tell Siggy to shut up.Siggy, predictably, didn't. The team, picking up on the energy from the sidelines, played with a lot of aggression and won easily in the end.
Still didn't stop Siggy moaning about it for the rest of the day - or at least until he had something new to moan about when I told I had no petrol and he would need to fill the car. Amazingly, he actually left me to fill it myself whilst he filled his own as well.
"Is it unleaded?" I asked, again calmly.
"Of course," he moaned back.
"Is that the green pump?" I again enquired politely.
"Yes." Grumpy sod.
Then he had the audacity to make put the petrol cap back on for me. In fairness, I have only put fuel in the car twice before and twice, he claims, the petrol cap has fallen on when he opened the fuel door. He is such a moaner.
Mind you, this week has been better. I started Uni! It was so exciting - I had gone and bought new pens, highlighters, paper, folders, pencil case, everything pink I could find in the stationery aisle and could hardly sleep the night before. When I got up, I was ready and out the house in loads of time and even arrived a bit early, found a parking space and found the room no bother. What could possibly gang agley?
I sat at a table with a group of girls I vaguely recognised. Turned out they were all from Stirling and, although I may have been picking up some of the accent wrong, they all really liked some guy called Ken. They must have done, because nearly every other sentence began or ended with "ken, like." How was I to know that this was actually going to be the naughty table in the class?
I mean, we're being told everything about induction, credit units, minimum essay lengths and all that stuff and I was keeping up really well. I know I was because I was even able to hold three simultaneous bbm group convos with Toni, Phoebe and, the girls at the nursery and Siggy. The lecturer seemed to be a little put off by some buzzing from our table, well, my hand bag (it was the phone, nothing else) but you'd think he would be a bit more professional than that.
Anyway, after playtime - they try to be all sophisticated and call it coffee break, but it's playtime as far as I'm concerned - the nice lecturer had obviously noticed that I had accidentally sat myself at the naughty table with all Ken's groupies because he said he'd kept me a seat down at the front. I think he's got the hots for me.
So the day was going really well and then I remembered I had to top up the parking meter. I was dead well-prepared.I had plenty of change with me and I had taken some out of my purse at playtime and had it in my jacket pocket so I could slip out at the appropriate time and top up the car.Some of the girls, I noticed had been trying to sneak out and I thought their shuffling was a bit distracting. I could hardly keep track of the bbm convos at one stage. I bided my time, tough and waited until there was just about three minutes left on my ticket. No shuffling for me - I stood up at the front and told the lecturer I had to go out and top up the car.
He smiled in a kind of grimacing way and off I skipped to my car. I went to the machine and beamed with pride. Exactly on time. I put my pre-prepared £3 in the meter and printed my ticket, went to the car and gaily slipped it onto the dashboard. I have to say I was more than a little stunned to watch it slip down the slope of the dashboard and disappear down in the gap between the dashboard and windscreen.
I am not proud. I can say it. I panicked.
No anything - not even a pink pen or a pair of tweezers to get the bloody thing back out, even if I could see it!
I ran like the wind back into the uni and up the three flights of stairs. Shit. I ran back down a flight as I had forgotten I was on the second floor after playtime. Ran into the room, breathless and slightly dishevelled to find the class was empty. Completely empty. I turned around, panic rising and saw the hot lecturer in the classroom across the corridor. Damn, must remember left from right in future.
I flew across the corridor, swung the class door open wide enough to almost take it off it's hinges and dived into the class, panting in the HL's (Hot lecturer is going to be too long to type every time for the whole course) direction. He smiled sweetly and very kindly looked towards the ceiling to save him any embarrassment. "Need... change" I said, I hope a little sexily as I was out of breath. I grabbed my bag, knocking over the chair it was hanging on and HL very kindly, although with what i thought was a bit of an overdramatic flourish, held the door for me.
It's a heavy door that, because it made quite a loud bang that echoed down the corridor after me as I sprinted back along the corridor and down the stairs. I ran out, crossed the road and got back just in time to get a new ticket and STICK IT to the windscreen before a traffic warden came round the corner. I told him all about it, he nodded a lot, looked at the new ticket STUCK to the windscreen and walked off. Funny man.
So, lots and lots of plans this week, including getting this out on Friday morning to cheer you all up but, as so aft, that ganged agley too.
Normal service will hopefully be resumed next week, but if anyone has any comments and thinks getting this on a Saturday is better, please just leave a comment.